Social Inequality - Social Class

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Outline the evidence that some social groups are advantaged in the
contemporary UK (20)
Upper Class
Explanation: the ruling class are believed to make up 5-10% of the population, and
the ownership of private industry has remained highly concentrated in the upper
class
Evidence: Scott ­ the upper class have high social capital, and this can be seen
through 'old boys networks' in which upper class men from the same private schools
maintain their wealth in small networks and prevent inferior classes from
maintaining this wealth
Evidence: Scott ­ the upper class are more advantaged than other classes as they
have better life chances due to their use of 'property for power' instead of 'property
for use'
Middle Class ­ Education
Explanation: there is a hidden curriculum taught in schools which caters to the needs
of the middle class, and specifically helps them to succeed in education
Evidence: Bourdieu ­ believes middle classes have large amounts of cultural, social
and economic capital, and that this is what helps them succeed in education
Evidence: Gilles ­ found that middle class mothers have more capital to invest into
their children to make them succeed in education, while working class mothers lack
capital and therefore cannot further help their working class children succeed in
education
Middle/Upper Class ­ Work
Explanation: polarisation has occurred in society, where the gap between the richest
and the poorest is slowly getting even larger, this can be explained through the types
of jobs each class tends to reside in
Evidence: Marx ­ believes that the ruling classes are exploiting the working class
through their labour; paying them little in exchange for all their manual labour
Evidence: Winlow ­ notes how deindustrialisation has occurred which has led to
many working class men are losing their identity through the loss of traditional
manual labour
Middle /Upper Class ­ Crime (white collar/business)

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Explanation: white collar and corporate crime tends to go unnoticed and unreported,
mainly because it is an invisible crime and is much harder to detect and find a main
offender
Evidence: Sunderland ­ believes white collar crime is just as prevalent as visible
crimes usually committed by the working class, such as theft and burglary
Evidence: this therefore means that the middle and upper class people working in
these jobs are unlikely to be arrested for the crimes they commit, and this explains
why there…read more

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Evidence: Bourdieu ­ believes the middle classes have large amounts of cultural,
social and economic capital, and that this is what helps them succeed in education
Evidence: Gilles ­ middle class mothers can afford to invest more capital into their
children in order for them to succeed in education, while working class mothers lack
capital and therefore cannot help their children succeed like the middle class can
Middle Class ­ Work
Explanation: fragmentation has occurred among the classes, where the divides of
each class are…read more

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Evidence: Turak ­ points out that the number of manual jobs has fallen by 11% since
1981 and the number of non-manual jobs has increased
Evidence: Brown et al ­ working class workers are four times more likely to become
unemployed than the middle class
Health
Explanation: ONS statistics show that the health status of a person goes down as you
go down the socioeconomic scale
Evidence: The Acheson Report ­ found that lower class people tend to have a bad
diet, and they tend…read more

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Evidence: Gilles ­ middle class mothers can afford to invest more capital into their
children in order for them to succeed in education, while working class mothers lack
capital and therefore cannot help their children succeed like the middle class can
Workplace
Explanation: polarisation has occurred in society, where the gap between the richest
and the poorest is slowly getting even larger, this can be explained through the types
of jobs each class tends to reside in
Evidence: Marx ­ believes that the ruling classes…read more

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